That is the reason I just asked over at Mandy's blog:
"Julie - just who is SongDiscovery for? I had personally come to the conclusion that you all must have been limited by the record companies as to what songs you could consider, that way the worship artists’ best singles would not be available on your compilations, which would thus boost their record sales. Am I completely wrong on this? Do you get a great deal of ‘good press’ and praise for your song selections, on a consistent basis? How many of the songs picked for SD discs end up on the CCLI top 10, or at least close? That would be a pretty good indicator that’s you all are ‘hitting the mark’ on the broadest group of worship leaders..."
On Mandy's blog I read several times that SD just can't please everybody, and if I were pigeon-holed into a corner, I would understand. But, as someone who has led for extended periods of time in every environment from Traditional Lutheran & PCA Presbyterian, & contemporary Methodist services, to Charismatic and Community Churches, and varied youth & campus ministries, I feel as though my experience represents such a broad swipe of the church that, if I'm so rarely able to find anything I think would work in my various worship environments over the years then something is wrong.
HOWEVER, for the sake of giving SOME positive support - the idea of a compilation disc of new worship music in a genius one, and has the potential to be a very helpful service, were the best songs included. On top of that, every issue I've 'borrowed' I've read from cover-to-cover.
Last edited by SaintLewis; 03-26-2008 at 09:43 AM.
I keep hearing the same comments about the 'filler' songs on the SD disk... from my experience, I talk with Worship Leaders all over the country and one thing is common(?)... we all use a different group of songs. We all are drawn to different things in music. Most often that parallels our giftings and talents. With the exception of the "Top 40" worship songs our church gatherings are all different. It's our job as worship leaders to find the songs that speak to our congregation.
We can't expect to use 10 songs per SD issue with that in mind
For example, the latest disc has some GREAT new artists on it - Daniel Doss is super talented and via email seems to be a great guy, and I've been a long-time Laura Story fan, & Leeland have some powerful moments. With all that potention, why Doss's "God in Me" instead of "Great God", the most catching & singable tune on his new disc. Also, why Leeland's "Enter this Temple" when "Count Me In" is by far the most creative, exciting, interesting, and passionate tunes recorded by a worship artist in quite a while? Story's tune was a good pick, because the other best were 1.) recorded and already made popular by Chris Tomlin or 2.) written & recorded by Hillsong United. Another question, do we really need to be reminded of "More Precious than Silver"? Isn't that considered a hymn by now? Having looked at the newest disc, I do have to back-pedal a little: I may use Story's song - it was a good pick.
Okay - Julie should enjoy this - I'm sitting here looking back over a few of the most recent past discs, again, there are some GREAT new artists - not necessarily the songs that I would pick by them, but not too bad. It's an improvement from the last several I borrowed from my friend.
Last edited by SaintLewis; 03-26-2008 at 10:37 AM.
just posted on my blog...My thoughts
Well the blog world is buzzing these few days after a rep from Worship Leader mag stumbled on a few of our comments about the magazine. She invited us to discuss the mag and give her input.“It seems that “Worship Leader” magazine and their product, “SongDISCovery” is buzzing in blog world. It all started back in January when Alastair posted a question about it, and received a response from the Editor, Julie Reid. Today, it seems to be revitalized, with posts over the last few days from Joel, Mandy, and Chris. ht: Fred Mckinnon”There is now a good discussion and poll over at the worship community about it. The response has been huge. It seems that many people were just waiting for the opportunity to express their opinions. Go over there and do the same if you have time.
First off I want to thank Julie for going to our blogs and asking our thoughts on the magazine. I think this is a great step in trying to understand the worship leaders who are on the net.
I did want to make my thoughts known as well. I hope all of this is taken as constructive and in now way is meant to be undermining.
I was a subscriber the first few years and loved it. It was relevant and the CD’s were fantastic. I kinda stopped for a while and 3 years ago started up again with it. I recently let my subscription expire with no intent on resubscribing. The magazine within the last few years has been a nice read. I say nice and not awesome because there has been very little practical info I can use in my day to day ministry in the the church. It has been very focused on individuals and larger churches. Now I do love reading about where a song came from or about the mind of lincoln brewster, but that info doesn’t translate as a resource. I found the magazine slowly heading towards entertainment and less resourceful.
Julie said that there are someting like 45,000 subscribers. Because of this I bet it is really hard to cater to everybody and to fill every need and gap. I do however think it is filling a need in the churches who are not “plugged in”. There are many churches and worship leaders who don’t have blogs or network or even use the internet frequently. I think this is the audience right now for the magazine.
For us in this blog/twitter world we have everything at our fingertips. We know about new technology, books and techniques before anybody else. There are a bunch of us who receive advanced copies of worship CD’s, review and blog about them before WLM does it’s review. I am reading 145 blogs currently and the info that I have access to is way more current and applicable because I am networking with other worship leaders. I really don’t know if there is anything that worship leader magazine could do to fix this other than do a mag. online and hire a few of us to run it. Not everybody has their hand on the pulse, but for those of us who do it is very hard to justify a magazine that has info we found out about 1 month ago.
What would I like to see? More articles on smaller congregations. Gear setups from musicians, Tech person ideas, lighting and stage design, profiles and testimonies of small worship pastors, Advanced vocal techniques, referencing groups like the worship community, info on the treasure trove of blog/internet resources, emerging worship prayers and alternative worship, band scheduling and practice, etc etc etc.
On to the Song DISCovery disks. Again in the beginning they were great. There was no internet and I could not afford to buy 300 CD’s. Now there is Itunes and social networking where I get all of my music resources. In the last year there has been maybe 1 useful song congregational wise that I didn’t already know of. Many times when I get the CD I DISCover that a bunch of the songs I already have heard or own. There have been many lyrically, and musically poor submissions that are just of no use in the church. Now remember some of the music is great and sounds great but just doesnt transfer to congregational worship. I would hope that there is a working worship leader working on the committee for the CD so that things could filter better for the church. It could be a great resource, but at this point I have access to so much more useful music that I don’t really need these CD’s. The sheet music is ok, but I have found more use out of CCLI.
This is not meant to be harsh. In the end I am not a subscriber because it does not meet my needs. I do think it meets many other peoples needs. I hope that from all this and the other peoples comments that WLM will be more aware of the needs of the worhsip community that is more plugged in and maybe give us something we can use. Thanks Julie for your time and I hope we can help you guys out a little.
I simply look at it as a resource only, not the supplier of my new worship music. (The majority of songs that I introduce to my congregation come from Worship Together personally)
I've been a subscriber since Song Discovery Volume 24. I lead worship in a "small" church of about 225. I find the magazine to be of great relavance to me and my ministry and I've utilized songs from just about every volume that I have. Some as corporate worship and others as "specials" inside the sermons. I attended the National Worship Leaders Conference in Austin last year and thought it was awesome. I'll be going again this year.
I remember a time before there was a Worship Leader magazine. I subscribed early on, and off-and-on throughout the years. I tried SongDiscovery too. Not a subscriber now.
I've said it before on the Worship Community in various ways, but maybe not in this way: the overall focus of the discussion on Worship ministry is not appropriately centered. It seems to me that over 90% of the writing (books, magazines or blogs) deals primarily with techniques (songs, planning, elements, new styles, etc.), and less than 10% is directed at the correct thinking about worship (theology, philosophy, etc.).
Romans 12 teaches us to renew -- our minds (not our techniques). If the magazine would focus 90% there, it would revolutionize worship as we know it.
Shannon, others ... in asking the question about "why feature this song from this artist, instead of this OTHER song from the same artist" ....
In my experience with SD, it may be that we should blame the ARTIST and/or PUBLISHING/PROMOTIONS company here. You see, in most cases, artists/publishers SUBMIT a song to the panel ... not the full album. It's not like the panel listens to all those full records and picks the best song ... they pick from the SONGS that were SENT IN TO THEM.
At the same time, I am fairly positive (based on my relationships with various A&R/Pub execs at a couple of different "big" Christian labels) that they (the label) does suggest which song they want pushed. But, I don't think they (WL/SD) "get anything" out of it from the labels .. I mean, have you ever seen a record label "promoting" WL mag or SD subscriptions?
Plus, on the $2500 (yes, Joel, at least, that's what it was a couple of years ago), that's for the "Bonus Track" at the end.
Ya know, this whole thread makes me really ponder and consider how I might could revitalize the Highest Praise Podcast ... something I've somewhat allowed to go "dormant" ... I had a vision to produce a monthly (or bi-monthly ... twice per month ... or is that semi-monthyly????) podcast of new worship material, and that for the most part, it wouldn't be overly crammed with label and super-produced material.
Life caught up with me, and I've just not found the time for that ... but man, I really should re-think it. I was successful in exposing some WONDERFUL tunes via that podcast (ie. Praise the Lord, O My Soul by Christopher Heidler, some great Ken Mullis tunes, music by Travis Gandy, and others).
Well, don't want to side track things ... but it really had me thinking today about the huge need for songs that are not only usable, but "re-producable" in a typical church with limited musicians.